The Quatermass Experiment - Incomplete
These are the only two surviving episodes of "The Quatermass Experiment" - Nigel Kneale's first Quatermass series. If you want to know how it ends you will have to buy the BBC dvd which includes the original script, or see Hammer's 1955 movie version or the 2005 remake.
December 12, 2013
God bless the BBC, quality entertainment from the start. Great acting (and remember it was recorded live), good script and fine cast. Some stock British character actors as well.... and a cat.
Such a shame the rest is lost.
April 12, 2013
(I'd just like to say that, although these 2 episodes only represented a third of the story, they are so good that they are well worth watching. I'd go as far as saying that they are required viewing for classic TV fans, sci-fi fans, and even film fans)
From what I read, only the first two *live* episodes were recorded during the broadcast as telerecordings, the remaining 4 episodes went out live and were never recorded.
Not much else survives of 1953 BBC programming. Three episodes survive of "Sunday-Night Theatre" from that year: "It Is Midnight, Dr. Schweitzer", "Anastasia", and "The Lady from the Sea" (considered to be very good and far superior to the reportedly dull "Dr. Schweitzer"). That particular series presented popular plays for television, and those three episodes exist as telerecordings. Also existing from that year is some filmed children's series, and possibly 1 or more episodes of "Television Newsreel". Not sure if anything else exists.
If you ask me, they should release a box set of all existing BBC episodes of 1953, or at the very least a DVD set of "Sunday-Night Theatre". Perhaps if we ask them nice enough they might issue them on DVD....we can hope, can't we?
As for these two episodes, they are excellent. Although the sets are dodgy, the acting is good, showcasing the skill of actors who knew who to perform live. Although presumably set in the then-future, it has a distictly "post-WW2" look-and-feel. The tensions of the cold war era are also felt at times. Overall, this British production is very lively and far superior to most US sci-fi TV of the era.
One notable goof: During one of the episodes, An insect appears on the TV monitor that was being filmed to record the broadcast! LOL!
I very much recommend viewing these 2 episodes.
November 20, 2012
A Black Eye for the BBC
In that they mindlessly erased so many classic shows from the '50s and 60s. All true Whovians know what those mindless Executives at the BBC did to Doctor Who (the Patrick Troughton era was particularly hard hit...but many of the William Hartnell shows were also mindlessly destroyed. "Marco Polo" which was (at least artistically) one of the most visually enticing serials during the 1963 season is sadly missing. While "The Tenth Planet" (Hartnell's last episode until "The Three Doctors: was important because it featured the First Appearance of the Cybermen which were, next to the Daleks themselves, the most popular (and frightening) of the original villans,
Then one turns to "The Web of Fear" during Patrick Troughton's time as the Doctor which features the second appearance of "The Yeti" but also introduces the character of Lethbridge-Stewart played then (and forever) by the late great Nicholas Courtney. He hadn't attained the rank of Brigadier yet but the thought that almost nothing of his first appearance has been preserved makes a true fan want to have a TARDIS just long enought to travel back and smack the guy who is about to order the erasure of these upside the head and shout "What are you THINKING???"
So it is with this, the first appearance of Professor Bernard Quatermass. Another in the great tradition of British Boffins who have so enriched both film and literature. Conan Doyle's Professor Challenger comes to mind at once as does "Dr. Royston" from X-The Unknown another classic from the hand of Jimmy Sangster.
But back to Quatermass. Now THIS is the guy who, sprung from the creative imagination of Nigel Kneale, brought ADULT science fiction to British television and paved the way for all that was to follow INCLUDING Doctor Who.
It is said that Kneale felt that Doctor Who was a rip-off of Quatermass and stayed angry about that for years. It wasn't true, though.
The Doctor was never human not even in the first episode broadcast. And while Gallifrey, and Timelords, and Regeneration hadn't been thought of yet that first show makes it clear that neither he nor his granddaughter are from Earth.
While Quatermass is all human even though (in his first outing) he appears so scientifically detached as to APPEAR inhuman...he is quite human.
And while it is sad that this first serial wasn't preserved in its entirety (neither the Hammer film NOR the live re-make really do it justice though both are good quite good on their own)I, for one, want to thank you for uploading these remaining episodes.
At least we can all help save these by storing them on DVD-R and External Storage Drives and so forth so that they need never be lost.
And Nigel, if you're reading this on a heavenly computer, let me say that though Doctor Who wasn't a rip-off of Quatermass I firmly believe that WITHOUT Quatermass the Doctor would never have been!